Adobe Animate brings new features but some challenges when installing extensions. The old way of adding features was to use the Adobe Extensions Manager and install extensions that way, but with Adobe Creative Cloud they’ve done away with that and the Extensions Manager no longer exists. This creates a bit of a problem for classic Flash users because the new Adobe Store unfortunately does not have all the useful tools Flash developers have created over the years and so when you find an great extension you’re unable to install it unless you find it in the Adobe Add Ons store. Well, the developers at Adobe that work on Animate have your back in the form of a stand alone application to allow you install those older extensions. Enter the Manage Extensions Utility which allows you to manually install extensions not in the Add On Store. Simply double click the program, navigate to the Install An Extension button, find the extension you wish to install and double click it. The program will install the extension. You can also set it to install a whole folder full of extensions at one time. Easy Peasy!
Today Adobe announced that they’re finally pulling away from the stigma Steve Jobs created concerning Flash and that it was ‘dead’. Well now Jobs himself is dead and Flash? Well it’s apparently being resurrected as Animate CC. I have to say I welcome it because now no one will tell me I’m using outdated technology when still it’s perfectly good. No one will say, “Oh didn’t they stop making that?” And finally when people say “Isn’t Flash dead?” NOW, I can say “Yep, but we use something called Animate.”
From the Adobe Blog:
For nearly two decades, Flash Professional has been the standard for producing rich animations on the web. Because of the emergence of HTML5 and demand for animations that leverage web standards, we completely rewrote the tool over the past few years to incorporate native HTML5 Canvas and WebGL support. To more accurately represent its position as the premier animation tool for the web and beyond, Flash Professional will be renamed Adobe Animate CC, starting with the next release in early 2016.
Here’s what you can expect in Animate CC:
Drawing, illustration and authoring
Vector art brushes – Modify the path of a stroke after it’s been drawn, and scale them to any resolution without losing quality. You can also make custom brushes and import brushes created with Adobe Capture CC.
360° rotatable canvas – Rotate the canvas on any pivot point as you draw to get the perfect angle and strokes. You can even use this feature with a Wacom Cintiq!
Improved pencils and brushes – Draw smooth, precise vector outlines along a curve and get faster live previews.
Easier audio syncing – Control audio looping directly on the timeline, without having to code.
Faster color changing – Naming tagged colors lets you change one color and have it automatically update your entire project.
Colored onion skinning – Easily orchestrate complex animations now that adjacent frames can have different color and alpha values.
Adobe Stock – Browse and license millions of high-quality photos, illustrations and vector graphics directly in Animate CC. You can even add life to static content by adding animations to them.
Creative Cloud Libraries – Access colors, vector graphics and brushes directly as you work.
Multiplatform support: HTML5 Canvas, WebGL, Flash (SWF), AIR, video, and custom platforms (such as SVG) via extensions.
4K+ video export – Export videos with custom resolutions for the latest Ultra HD and Hi-DPI displays.
Custom resolution export – Revitalize older content by resizing and optimizing them for any resolution, such as Ultra HD and Hi-DPI displays.
.OAM support – Export your project as an .OAM file for easy importing to Adobe Muse, InDesign, DPS and Dreamweaver.
You can read more about this big change on the Adobe blog here.
The 2015 release of Adobe® Flash Professional® CC reintroduces the IK bone tool that enables you to create bone armatures using symbols or shapes that can be easily turned into life-like animation. The release also comes with H.264 video import, universal document type converter, integration with the latest Flash Player and AIR SDK, and many more enhancements. Continue reading for a quick introduction to new features available with the latest update to Flash Professional CC, and links to other resources that provide more information.
Adobe Flash Professional CC 2015 release provides you capabilities to create great cartoon characters with life-like movements using the new bone tool, convert your projects to any document type using the universal document type converter, import H.264 videos, work with the latest Flash Player and AIR SDK, and many more cool capabilities that help you to take your graphics and animation projects to the next level.
The Flash Professional CC 2015 Release offers you the capability to lend life-like movements to your animation characters using the all-new bone tool.
The bone tool gives you inverse kinematics (IK) capabilities within Flash. IK is a way of animating objects using bones chained into linear or branched armatures in parent-child relationships. When one bone moves, connected bones move in relation to it. Inverse kinematics lets you easily create natural motion. To animate using inverse kinematics, specify the start and end positions of bones on the Timeline. Flash automatically interpolates the positions of the bones in the armature between the starting and ending frames.
You can use IK in the following ways:
By using a shape as a container for multiple bones. For example, you can add bones to a drawing of a snake so that it slithers realistically. You can draw these shapes in Object Drawing mode.
By chaining symbol instances. For example, you can link movie clips showing a torso, arm, lower arm, and hand so that they move realistically in relation to each other. Each instance has only one bone.
Bone tool comes with on-stage controls to ensure greater precision in movements. The onstage controls allows you to switch between Locked, Open, and Constrained states for Rotation and Translation properties of individual bones in the IK armature. You can now directly adjust these constraints on stage with accuracy using clear visual feedback.
In addition to FLV videos, this release also introduces an option to embed H.264 videos in the timeline. When an H.264 video is embedded, the frames of the video are rendered on the stage when you scrub the timeline. This feature enables you to use videos as a guide to synchronize your animation on stage. Since the Flash Player and other run-times do not support rendering embedded H.264 videos, they are not published. Importing H.264 videos is a design-time-only feature.
Audio playback is enabled for H.264 videos. You can now select the ‘Include audio’ option while importing H.264 videos. Once imported to the stage (with ‘place instance on stage’ option selected), scrubbing the timeline must play the audio for the relevant frames. Playing the timeline (Enter) must play back the animation at the fps of the imported video so that the audio is in sync with the video frames on stage.
Export sprite sheet as bitmap allows you to pack all the bitmaps in canvas document in to a sprite sheet. A new Export the Bitmap as Sprite Sheet check box has been added and enabled by default. You can specify the maximum size of the sprite sheet by giving the height and width values in the publish settings. This enhancement reduces the number of server requests, which in turn results in improved performance.
With this release, Flash Professional scales the brush size proportionately to the changing zoom level of the stage. Proportionate zooming allows you to draw seamlessly adjusting to any zoom level and preview your work as you draw. If you want to revert to the earlier default behavior of brushes maintaining a constant pixel size even when you change the zoom level of the stage, you must disable the ‘Stage zoom level’ checkbox in the brush Property Inspector.
A. Increase/decrease brush size B. Brush size preview C. Option to scale brush size according to the zoom level of the stage
In earlier versions of Flash Pro, you had to import the audio file in to the library and then add it to a layer on the timeline. In this release, you can directly import audio in to your stage/timeline by dragging and dropping the file to a layer or by using the File > Import > Import to Stage option.
Split Audio option in context menu
The stream audio embedded on the timeline can be split at ease using the Split Audio context menu. Split Audio enables you to pause the audio when it is necessary and then resume the audio playback from the point it was stopped at a later frame on the timeline.
Remember audio sync options in PI
Flash Pro now remembers the sync options in property inspector. If a sound is selected from the “Sound” section of the Property Inspector, then on trying to set another sound on a new keyframe from the Property Inspector, Flash remembers the sync options “Stream” or “Event” of the previous sound.
The Paste functionality has been enhanced as follows:
Paste: Until the 2014.1 release, when you copy a curve in the Motion Editor and use the Paste option to paste it in a new range, it pastes within the current curve’s range and not with absolute values. In this release, the Paste option pastes the curve with absolute values.
Paste to fit current range: This option now replicates the old Paste operation and pastes the curve within the current curve’s range and not with absolute values.
A new option, Lock/Unlock, has been added to the fly-out menu of the panels to lock the dock. Once a dock is locked, all the panels in the dock can be resized, but cannot be moved. This feature helps you prevent accidental drag and resize of panels.
Code snippet support for WebGL
From this release, code snippets are available for some commonly used actions in the WebGL document type.
Note: This enhancement is available only in the English language version.
Enhancements in Custom Platform Support SDK
This release includes the following enhancements to Custom Platform Support SDK and the sample plug-in:
Ability to query the type of a library symbol: ILibraryItem::GetProperties() returns an additional key “SymbolType” for symbols. The value of key can be “Button,” “MovieClip,” or “Graphic.”
Ability to distinguish between button and movie-clip: Until the previous release, the button instances were treated as movie clips by both the DOM and the IFrameCommandGenerator service. Starting with Flash Pro CC 2015, an interface has been added to support button instances. If the IMovieClip instance also implements the IButton interface, then it can be treated as a button instance. The four states of a button namely, Up, Over, Down, and Hit are always mapped to the frames 0, 1, 2, and 3 respectively. See the file IButton.h to know more about the button instance.
New API to get the bounds of IClassicText objects: The AddClassicText function in ITimelineBuilder interface now returns an object of CLASSIC_TEXT_INFO_2 (instead of the old CLASSIC_TEXT_INFO), which contains a new field “bounds” representing the bounds of the IClassicText object.
This release comes to you with the Flash Player version 17.0 and AIR SDK 17.0 integrated.
Integration of latest CreateJS libraries
This release of Flash Professional comes with the latest CreateJS libraries integrated.
Since the latest libraries are not yet hosted via CDN, clear the Hosted LIbraries checkbox under the Advanced section of the Publish Settings dialog box (Edit > Publish Settings > Advanced) to see the output.
New in Flash Professional CC 2015
This release comes with the following Save optimizations:
Save algorithm optimization resulting in faster saving of FLA
File corruption issues while saving files over the network are now resolved
The following auto-recovery enhancements are part of this release:
Flash Professional does not create unnecessary auto-recovery files. An auto-recovery file is created only if the document is modified after the last auto-recovery files were created.
Progress bar is displayed only when the Flash Pro application is in focus.
Auto-recovery file is removed only after completing a successful save operation.
The following auto-recovery changes help you avoid continuous loop of auto-recovery for short auto-recovery duration:
At each auto-recovery interval, snapshot for all files modified after last auto-recovery are created.
Next auto recovery timer is started only after this process is completed.
This enhancement allows you to import Animated GIF files in a more organized way so that you can keep your library in proper order. In previous releases, the imported GIF assets were placed in the library root folder without proper naming. In this release, a folder with the GIF filename is created and all the associated bitmaps are organized under it. As shown in the following image, the bitmaps are now named appropriately based on their sequence.
This new option in the Edit menu and the Stage context menu inverts the selection of currently selected objects or shapes on the stage.
Paste and overwrite frames
New in Flash Professional CC 2015
The new ‘Paste and Overwrite Frames’ timeline context menu option enables you to paste the copied frames by replacing the exact number of frames without pushing the frames forward. This replaces the existing way of selecting the exact number of frames which you want to replace with the same number of copied frames. For example, if you want to copy ten frames from a timeline and replace the exact number of frames in another timeline, copy the ten frames and use the Paste and Overwrite Frames frames to paste it at the starting frame-the next ten frames are overwritten with the copied frames.
Listen to Ajay Shukla, Sr. Product Manager, Flash CC talk about where Flash is headed.
Ajay is a Senior Product Manager at Adobe. He manages Flash CC. He has an MBA from the Chicago Booth school of Business, an MS from the University of Minnesota and a BE from the Indian Institute of Technology. He also holds the CFA charter. Prior to joining Adobe, Ajay worked on various mobile/wireless technologies at Qualcomm and Motorola. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Tony Ross of tonyteach.com here, and we’ve been working on this since April, but we will finally be releasing our new Toon Boom training, Character Animation in Toon Boom Animate 3, on Wednesday September 10. This is probably the strongest, most in-depth Toon Boom title tonyteach has released to date, and it covers everything from a basic intro, to completing a short animated scene!